Prayer for My Brother

As many of you know, my brother John died suddenly, and our family has been walking through a sad and unfamiliar path of difficult decisions and tearful goodbyes.  John leaves a wife, Susie, and four children: Cole (14), Julia (4), Sophia (4), and Grady (2).


Ashes, mist

Yesterday we held a formal memorial service; today we took to the ocean, where John most loved spending time, to scatter his ashes.

Ashes, Dad, Mom, Susie
Who knows how you do such things?  Not me.  Still, here’s the prayer I offered over CB radio while 10 large boats gathered in a circle and John’s widow, Susie, scattered his ashes:Ashes, in the water

Oh God, we’re gathered here today to give thanks for the life of our son, husband, father, brother, friend, John Dill.  Thank you for the many ways in which his life touched our own.  As we scatter his ashes in the ocean he loved, we know that he is enfolded now in your love and peace. 

In the same way, encircle us with your love and presence as well, all the length of this troublesome life, until the clamor of life is quieted, and our pain is healed, and our work here is done.  For the gift of John’s life, all it has meant and continues to mean to us all, we give you thanks.  Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, be at peace. Amen.

From different boats all around the circle, friends, scattered flower petals and leis in John’s memory.  As we rode back toward shore, we looked back to see the leis floating in the water, one of them a heart: John’s blessing for us.

heart in the water

6 Comments on “Prayer for My Brother

  1. My thoughts and prayers go out for you and your family, especially your brother’s widow and four children. May each of you have the arms of God around you and have the glimmer.of peace that passes all understanding as the days continue.

  2. Amy, Thanks for sharing this. I can only imagine your grief. I lost my own brother just about 4 years ago. Among other things, he was a diver, who lived in Hawaii for a while and loved the ocean and the islands. Indeed, how do we function in such moments, except perhaps by the grace of God. May God bless and keep you and your family. Rick

  3. It was truly a once in a lifetime send off and so much love and Aloha for a wonderful person who gave so much love to us all.

  4. Amy, may God’s consoling spirit and everlasting love envelop you and your family in these hours of sadness and questioning.

  5. “Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. So let your prayers raise like a fountain day and night…”
    From memory, quoting Alfred Lord Tennyson, ” Morte ‘dArthur”

  6. Thank you for sharing, the loss of a love one is difficult, the memories and love we have for them we treasure and give thanks to God for having them in our life. My prayers for the family.

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